The long-awaited presence of Mineral in Rosedale did not disappoint. After building and construction setbacks the “opening soon” mural had become a long-standing fixture at 1027 Yonge Street, but the contemporary fusion restaurant finally opened its door in fall 2019. What makes this upscale bistro unique is their love for fine food is paired with a passion for direct trade and ethical coffee, which is equally as tasty as it is eco-responsible which truly makes their java a win-win in our books! Mineral has mastered the transition from a take-out coffee shop to a bright and lively lunch spot and then to a romantic and moody dinner experience.
Mineral owners, Bruce Ly and Greg Toskan-Robbins had initially dreamt of opening a coffee shop with some food service, but the vision quickly grew wings when they partnered with their executive chef Daniel Cacino. The Toskan family is also behind Impact Kitchen, just north of Mineral at Yonge and Summerhill. This is not Daniel Cancino’s first rodeo either, you may remember his influence in his previous restaurant Lamesa which thrived in Queen West for six years. It’s clear that Chef Cancino has a passion for sharing his love and talent for Filipino food – the fusion of sweet, sour and salty flavours is what he does best!
The menu at Mineral is intended for sharing and features a cold bar and a selection of hot plates. The lunch menu which is available until 2:45 pm daily offers a slight variation of their dinner dishes which is available at 6 pm. It’s recommended that you try them all, but 4-5 dishes will typically satisfy a dinner for 2. The service staff are happy to help guide your dining experience with recommendations and will course your meal for the optimal cuisine love affair. The friendly nature of the employees at Mineral set this restaurant apart and allow for a casual fine dining experience that is in no way stuffy or pretentious.
The poached salmon with ginger, mustard greens and shishito was cooked to perfection. A soft and moist pink salmon filet is served in a sweet and salty ginger broth which is absolutely dip worthy. It was recommended that we pair the poached salmon with a side of the Tamaki gold rice, and we were very happy we did. The sticky rice is just the right accompaniment to soak up the delicious broth and elevated this dish entirely.
The crispy broccolini dish will make anyone want to eat their greens… again and again and again. The tangy miso and salted cured lime really bring this dish to life. The broccolini is flash-fried to give it a delicious crisp that parallels the perfect bbq char, while the almonds add the perfect crunch to finish this sharable plate.
If you know anything about Filipino fare, they take their pork very seriously, so it’s no surprise that the glazed pork neck dish with pineapple, cashew, pickles is a standout on the menu. Let’s just say, this dish isn’t your average BBQ. The pork neck is slow-cooked overnight, but not before marinating for 12 hours in garlic, ginger, spices and a bottle of 7Up for optimal tenderness. This dish is complemented with pickled vegetables, green papaya slices and a tangy kalamansi sauce which are all meant to be wrap in crisp lettuce. Each bite is dynamic and satisfying. A must try!
Other noteworthy dishes on the hot menu include the Thai basil mushroom noodles and the wagyu flat iron steak. The cold bar highlights some inventive pairings such as oyster and grape, scallop and apple as well as a pineapple and kombu plate. A small but thoughtful list of cocktails, wine and local beers make a great addition to any meal. Or skip the hooch entirely and go straight to coffee and dessert. No judgement here as the sustainable and locally sourced dairy Mineral uses in their Columbia espresso is a guilt-free treat, even if accompanied with a Miso Leche Flan.
Although the restaurant is a modest size, they have incorporated several cozy booths and tables, along with a grand horseshoe bar lined with royal blue velvet bar seats. The stunning interior of Mineral was designed by Rikki Papa of Architecture for All. Papa seamlessly blends delicate and hard components with natural stones and warm brass features. The impressive hand-painted mural work by Tisha Myles transports you to an Asian fantasia. For a unique visit to Mineral, reserve seats at the chefs table which overlooks the open kitchen. Here your sense of smell, sight and taste are guaranteed to be heightened.
Mineral is sure to shake up the traditional fine dining experiences in the Rosedale neighbourhood. With a smart mix of contemporary design and international flavours inspired from the chef’s Filipino’s heritage. The Southeast Asian inspiration brings a colourful menu to life that is bursting with flavour.